At a time when online grocery shopping is expected to grow exponentially over the next decade, never before have consumer opinions had a bigger influence on consumer decisions. Online customer recommendations are the most critical and most trusted touch points in today’s modern customer decision journey: 80% of online consumers rely on customer ratings and reviews to inform their purchase decisions, with higher review volume and average rating significantly increasing overall sales lift.
When it comes to retailers, the majority of product searches begin on Amazon (more than Google and big box e-commerce sites combined), while the majority of purchases are still made in store. As such, Amazon is the gatekeeper as customers’ first point of contact and sets the rules of engagement. As of October 2016, Amazon banned incentivized reviews tied to free or discounted products.
To respond to this new customer journey and capitalize on consumers’ e-commerce adoption, Tom’s of Maine leveraged its micro-influencer community and Mavrck’s integration with Bazaarvoice to capture and amplify organic ratings and reviews from their most influential customers. In doing so, Tom’s of Maine solved two of the many challenges facing CPG marketers today – increasing the amount of organic reviews generated across multiple product categories and distributing those reviews at scale to multiple retailers.
Relevant micro-influencers were identified and activated post-purchase to share their honest review and product feedback. Collected reviews were then distributed to retail partners through the Bazaarvoice network.
Over a 4-week period, Tom’s of Maine’s micro-influencers generated 438 organic product reviews across seven products in three high-growth categories: oral care, body care, and baby care. The effort resulted in a 4.64 average product rating (out of 5) and projected 30% average sales lift for each product.
Tom’s of Maine launched its micro-influencer community in 2015 with the intent of forming a direct relationship with their consumers who were loyal, would advocate, and had influence. By providing an always-on, central forum for its own micro-influencers to have a voice, Tom’s of Maine not only increased engagement, but created a frictionless process for driving organic ratings and reviews.
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